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Film / Sound of the Mountain

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Sound of the Mountain is a 1954 film from Japan, directed by Mikio Naruse, starring Setsuko Hara.

Ogata Shingo is a businessman who employs his son Shuichi. Shuichi happens to be married to the gentle Kikuko (Hara), and they live together with Shingo and Shuichi's mother Hideko. It soon becomes clear that Shuichi is an awful awful husband, coming home drunk late, emotionally neglecting his wife, and worst of all having an affair that he isn't even trying very hard to hide. The domestic tranquility of the Ogata home is further shattered when Shingo and Hideko's daughter Fumiko arrives, two children in tow, announcing that she has left her husband.

Compare Late Spring, another Setsuko Hara film for which this could easily be a sequel.



  • As You Know: Kikuko greets her father-in-law with "Father-in-law!"
  • Awful Wedded Life: Good Lord.
    • Shuichi and Kikuko's marriage is so dysfunctional that she gets an abortion. At the end she says she's divorcing her awful pig of a husband.
    • Fumiko has left her husband, who apparently has been cheating on her constantly.
    • And for that matter Shingo and Hideko don't seem to like each other very much. Hideko snarks at one point that the only reason Shingo married her is because Hideko's older, much better-looking sister died unexpectedly.
  • Babies Make Everything Better: Discussed Trope. Hideko thinks the children will cause Fumiko's husband to return, but Shingo disagrees, saying "It's cowardly for a man or woman to try and save a marriage with a child." And Kikuko obviously agrees, which is why she has her abortion.
  • Driving a Desk: Seen multiple times in car rides and train rides.
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  • Drowning My Sorrows: Shingo comes home drunk after finding out that Shuichi knocked up his mistress.
  • Establishing Character Moment: When Shuichi finally gets home late at night, staggering drunk, and drops his clothes in a heap on the floor, he is established as a less-than-ideal husband.
  • Good Girls Avoid Abortion
    • Played straight in the case of Kinuko, Shuichi's mistress, a war widow who insists on keeping Shuichi's baby because otherwise she might never have one.
    • But averted in the case of Shuichi's wife Kikuko, who sees what an ass her husband is and how unhappy Fumiko is, and aborts her pregnancy.
  • Madonna–Whore Complex: Shuichi seeks to justify his awful behavior by comparing his wife to "a lake" and his mistress to "a torrent." Shuichi's secretary, who is jealous because Shuichi cheated on his wife with someone else rather than her, says "One can't expect a proper wife to act like a prostitute."
  • The Mistress: Kinuko, a war widow, who had an affair with Shuichi but doesn't seem to feel very good about it.
  • Non-Indicative Name: "Sound of the Mountain"? There isn't even a mountain in the movie.
  • Off-into-the-Distance Ending: Ends with Shingo and Kikuko walking away together through the park, after Kikuko has announced that she's getting a divorce and Shingo says he and his wife will be moving away.
  • Out with a Bang: Shingo and a buddy chuckle about their old friend, who died "during a tryst with a young woman at a hot spring."